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Worm Grunting

  1. Sep 17, 2005 #1
    In order to block Miss Evo from winning this year's banner for best thread about strange ways to catch animals I bring you:


    SOPCHOPPY -- One foggy spring morning deep in the Apalachicola National Forest, William Johnson took a friend to watch while he "grunted" for worms.

    He pierced the loose soil with his "stob," a well-worn stake about three-foot-long, carved from the wood of a black gum tree. His other tool was an "iron," a flat piece of metal, twice as wide as a ruler and 2 feet long.

    Johnson, 41, used the iron to bang in the stob: "Tink, tink, tink." He rubbed the iron against the stob: "grunt, grunt, grunt."

    Up came hundreds of fat, footlong earthworms, powerless against this man-made vibration. Johnson's friend bolted from the forest.

    "It's an art," Johnson said Saturday as he took part in the second annual Worm Gruntin' Festival in this Wakulla County hamlet south of Tallahassee..."

    "...The Diplocardia mississippiensis has 12 hearts, each the size of pinhead. Those who use it for fishing admire the thick, long body and the robust constitution that will withstand the trauma of being hooked. This worm does not go limp in the water or easily wilt in the sun..."

    "...There are easier ways to draw earthworms out of the ground, including electrical shock or vibrations from heavy construction equipment. But time has proven that the gentler practice of grunting is less traumatic for the worms, which means they last longer.
    No one knows why the vibration draws them out of the ground.
    "They can't stand it," said Johnson, the Sopchoppy grunter..."

    "...And if you rest in a quiet forest after a few minutes of grunting, he said, you can hear the sound of worms rustling up through soil and slithering across the surface..."

    "...Sanders, a 28-year-old Sopchoppy native who was one of 10 children. His grandfather paid off a house and raised 10 children, largely from worm money..."

    "...The kids at school would make fun of worm grunters, but the money was good, said Sanders, an electrician..."

    "..."Charles Kuralt came down here and destroyed it," said Johnson, the longtime grunter from Sopchoppy. "He got good publicity, but he made it bad for the people that lived here. It ain't like it used to be."..."

    State: Gruntin' and gathering
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2005 #2


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    OK, so we have a plausible origin for how noodling got started... but what in the world would possess one to grind an iron against a stob? For that matter, what in the world would possess someone to name something a 'stob'?
  4. Sep 17, 2005 #3
    I bet it's somehow connected to the same impulse that causes someone to name a town "Sopchoppy".
  5. Sep 17, 2005 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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